Saturday, April 20, 2013

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation, Seven Magic Items, Day Seven


Herestauss' Treatise on the Unknown Inhabitants of the Ancient World (Magic Item)

Herestauss' Treatise is a magical speaking book, with blank pages. The user may ask the book a question on supernatural creatures (as defined in the GM's own campaign). The book will answer by opening and closing its cover like a mouth. The Treatise's knowledge is not complete. It will know an answer to a question based on the rarity of creature about which the user inquires. Typically this involves subtracting the creature's HD from 10 and multiplying by 10 to get a percent chance to know. For example, the book can answer questions on 1 HD zombies with 90% accuracy; on 4 HD gargoyles with 60% accuracy, etc. When the book knows the answer it will reply truthfully. When it does not know, it will provide a partially correct answer, or an incorrect answer, or no answer at all, at the GM's discretion.

Inspired by a book title appearing in Maupassant's short story "The Horla."

Click Here for Swords and Wizardry Appreciation, Seven Magic Items, Day 1 

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like my kind of book, you dont have to read it, it reads itself :)

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    1. Lol. Kind of a medieval fantasy book on tape.

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  2. "Herestauss, tell me about the mating rituals of gnolls." Ewww. Sounds like a very interesting book. This could slide easily into nearly any campaign. I'm curious though, if it doesn't know the correct answer it will make stuff up or will it just quote facts that are incorrect.

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    1. I'm not gonna ask why you want to know about the mating rituals of gnolls... :)

      For times when the book doesn't know the answer, the GM gets to decide (or roll): either a partially correct answer (if one is possible), a completely incorrect answer, or no answer at all (in which case the GM could have the book say "I don't know" or just have the book stay silent). Any yes/no question would make a "partially correct" answer impossible.

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  3. Bard: This is excellent. You need to crank these out on a regular basis.

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    1. Thanks Ken. I've been having a lot of fun doing them. I've been thinking of making it a regular feature. Once a month maybe? A "monthly magic item" column?

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